Learning & Development

Is your learning culture fit for purpose?

Back to basics

As senior HR professionals and learning leaders, we find ourselves at a  crossroads.

The question that stands before us is whether our current learning culture is truly fit for purpose and evolving at pace alongside the technology on the market today. This is a substantial challenge and one that ranks among the top five key challenges for learning leaders today. And if we're honest with ourselves, the simple answer is no - it's not keeping up.

In the age of rapid technological development, we’re witnessing ground breaking innovations with the potential to transform the way we work and learn. However, the success of these innovations depends heavily on the learning culture that surrounds them. As learning leaders, our challenge is finding the right balance between learning technology and the fundamental needs of our businesses - and that means getting back to basics.


Getting your learning culture right

A strong starting point for revitalising learning culture is to revisit your organisation's vision and strategy. Understanding the direction in which your business is heading, its key goals and the metrics it uses to measure success is essential. 

To gauge the health of your existing learning culture, you must also understand how your leaders view the learning and the development of their own teams. Their attitudes towards learning provide crucial insights into their receptiveness to discussions involving learning technology.

Does L&D have all the gear and no idea?

In essence, we need to shift our focus back to the basics. Let's draw a parallel with my hobby of photography. Owning the most expensive camera and lens won't make you a better photographer. What truly matters is understanding the fundamentals: aperture, shutter speed, light and a creative eye. It's not about the gear itself - it's about how you use it. 

You can have all the gear and no idea, and sometimes L&D is in danger of falling into this trap. In our pursuit of a healthy learning culture, we can’t get distracted with the latest technology to the detriment of the basics.


Enabling safe experimentation and learning opportunities

A common misconception about learning culture is that it’s purely about boosting employee engagement. Of course that’s part of it, but the real purpose is driving engagement with the right content that has the most significant impact on performance.

Alongside this is the need to constantly reskill and upskill our workforces, driven by the relentless pace of technological change (especially where things like AI are concerned). The new tools and technology available to us have huge potential, but if our learning culture doesn’t support experimentation or the opportunity to learn to use them, that potential remains untapped. Simply having access to these great new tools isn’t enough - we need to equip people with the skills to make the most of them.


Adapting learning culture to technology

Right now, the hottest topic in learning technology is AI. As exciting and transformative as this technology is, it’s also crucial that we consider the implications for our learning culture. 

That doesn’t just mean what we learn, but also how we learn. In L&D, we can see the huge potential of AI in the learning space, but are the rest of our business leaders on board? While we’re laser-focused on the learner experience, business leaders are more interested in growth, navigating uncertain economic times and achieving tangible outcomes. We know that both priorities are intrinsically linked, but do they?

Cutting through the noise

In the pursuit of a self-directed learning culture, we must have the content people can self-serve from. This brings us to the issue of content noise. When did you last conduct a content audit? Is your content up to date and relevant? Is it easily accessible? These are crucial questions to consider, and the answers will vary across different organisations.

The challenge lies in the fact that, by having multiple platforms and content sources scattered across the organisation, we inadvertently make self-directed learning challenging. The average employee spends over four hours per week searching for information to do their job - that means they’re dealing with a lot of noise, which has a significant impact on the effectiveness of our learning culture.


Evaluating our learning culture

To evaluate our learning culture, it's essential to ask ourselves how we would describe it. Do these descriptions align with our ideal learning culture? If not, what needs to change to shape it according to our vision and business needs? We must assess the current learning environment, map available learning opportunities and understand informal learning activities throughout the organisation. Most importantly, we need to grasp the views and experiences of the end users.

Online surveys, focus groups and direct observations can provide valuable insights. This data can guide us in identifying deficiencies, areas for change and the supporting behaviours required. The final step is to formulate a plan and a roadmap for implementing necessary changes.


Empowering learning culture with tech

“5app is an enabler, which empowers creators to create, innovators to innovate and learners to learn.”

In my previous role at Greystar, we faced the common challenge of declining learner engagement despite creating an abundance of high-quality internal content branded as ‘Greystar Originals’. We puzzled over the reason behind this dip, considering that our Greystar Business School was powered by the user-friendly 5app platform and offered relevant content. After numerous discussions and data gathering, we uncovered a straightforward but essential issue: the sheer volume of available content was overwhelming, and learners struggled to find the right content precisely when needed.

The solution was highly structured, personalised academies. Academies allowed us to construct tailored development pathways that revolutionised how team members acquired the skills and knowledge essential for their roles. The focus was on delivering the right content to the right person precisely when needed. These pathways were not only personalised for the user, but also customisable for their function.

The architecture of the academies remained the same, ensuring scalability, and the introduction of AI accelerated the development process. The outcomes were astounding: in our pilot group, we witnessed a 328% increase in learner engagement and remarkable improvements in demonstrable skills (32%), technical capabilities (43%) and knowledge (57%), and an ROI of 294%.


Introducing 5app academies

This is just one example that shows how technology can supercharge a learning culture. This tech-driven solution helped reignite learners’ interest in engaging with content by putting exactly what they needed at their fingertips, saving them time and making it easier for them to get on with their jobs.

Owing to the success of Greystar’s learning academies, we’ve launched our very own 5app academies solution. With 5app academies, you get content curation, easy implementation, alignment to your business goals and, most importantly, some serious ROI.

Curious? I’d love to show you around! Book your academies demo here, or if you’re looking for more info, I’m offering free 30-minute consultations for a limited time only. Grab your slot below.

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